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Election 22: Candidates emerge for state House seat

With five-time incumbent state representative Mike Sundin announcing that he won't run for re-election, this year's race for the Minnesota House of Representatives District 11A seat is heating up with familiar faces from both parties joining the race.

Since the Sundin announcement, only one Democrat has announced intentions to seek the seat that covers all of Carlton County and part of St. Louis and Pine counties. Pete Radosevich, an attorney who lives in Cloquet and is also the publisher of the Pine Knot News, made his official announcement on Wednesday.

Jeff Dotseth was endorsed by the area Republican Party at the Senate District 11 endorsing convention March 11.

This will be Dotseth's third time running for the District 11A seat since he moved to his grandparents' family farm in Kettle River from Zimmerman, Minnesota. Dotseth owns a commercial and residential real estate business with offices in Zimmerman, Princeton and Moose Lake.

"I am committed to being a voice for all of those who feel they have not had a champion at the capital for our area and for our values in a long time," he said. "Together, we can make sure Minnesota is a place to be proud of for generations to come by lowering taxes, ending burdensome regulations and mandates, and protecting our Constitutional rights."

The local DFL party will hold its endorsing convention Saturday morning at Barnum High School. DFL chair Terri Thell said the event starts at 10 a.m. and will be finished by noon. Delegates voting Saturday must have attended their precinct caucuses, but others can attend the convention as visitors, Thell said. Radosevich is the only person to declare before the convention.

"I'm running for House District 11a because Carlton County is my home and I care about the issues unique to our community. While other candidates are mimicking the national issues, I feel we need a representative in St. Paul who is looking out for the issues that affect us, locally," Radosevich said.

Radosevich said he understands the various perspectives in the community as a small-business owner, attorney and longtime host of the "Harry's Gang" political talk show, as well as a father and active community member.

"I believe in appropriate taxation and responsible spending. I believe the government exists to solve our collective problems. And I believe the Legislature needs a DFLer like myself who has both passion and experience," he said. "I've been active and involved for decades."

Dotseth said he is excited to now focus on winning in November.

"This year, I am so encouraged by the number of people that have stepped up and gotten more engaged in the political process," he said.

The race for the District 11A seat has gotten tighter in recent years. Sundin won the election in 2020 for his fifth two-year term with 51.4 percent of the vote while Dotseth received 48.5 percent.